Parks and Recreation Division of Utah Government Department of Natural Resources is launching yoga series in its nine State parks from April 28 to November 17.
An announcement posted at the Division’s website talks of reaping “both the physical and mental benefits of yoga”. At each stop in the series, participants will be greeted in the morning by a Park Ranger and participate in a yoga session and meditation activity afterwards. “This Yoga Series is a great way for people to connect with nature, their mind, their body…”, announcement adds.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, applauded Utah’s efforts of bringing yoga to its State parks, calling it a step in the positive direction. Zed urged governments of other 49 states to explore various benefits yoga offered.
Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
According to US National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to a “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.
State parks of Utah involved in this series include: Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Red Fleet State Park, Jordanelle State Park, Rockport State Park, Wasatch Mountain State Park, Antelope Island State Park, Goblin Valley State Park and Snow Canyon State Park.
Utah State Parks and Recreation, opened in 1957, whose Mission includes “to enhance the quality of life”; manages 44 state parks, heritage sites and museums; which are said to be explored by nearly 4 million visitors annually. Michael Styler is the Executive Director of Utah Department of Natural Resources, a state government agency headquartered in Salt Lake City.